The man. The myth. The legend. Also, quite possibly, the numpty.
Yes, this is Eric Pederson. From his hut in the desert, Eric is the man responsible for putting together Factory Sealed as we know and love it. The longest standing member of the crew (having appeared on every single show) and that guy who says, without fail, ‘Welcome back to Factory Sealed’ at the start of every episode, Eric is known for his love of all things ‘Murica, pinapple slicing, his legendary competition voice, his poor accents and unfathomable, ludicrous stories.
We’re not quite sure what exactly happened to Eric growing up, but whatever it was, it’s somehow made him completely unable to speak properly. This was first discovered around the episode where Red Faction was played; Eric declared something to be ‘vag’ rather than ‘vague’ and the rest was history. As a result, ‘Crag’s Vag Plag’ (read: Craig’s Vague Plague) is a well-known and oft-referenced quote throughout Factory Sealed’s mad episode catalogue. This also led to the introduction of Eric’s superhero alter-ego, the Carmel Cran.
Perhaps Eric’s strongest goal in life is to straddle the hell out of anything and everything he sees. Whether it’s Lombard Street in San Fran, the Grand Canyon or a giant statue of a deer, Eric has straddled his way across the world and is obsessed with trying to get everyone else to do the same thing. Proper form, with arm in the air and legs raised off the ground at all times, is an absolute essential.
Eric, Dan and Tom have known each other since the Voldemort Towers days; there, our heroes were thrust together to bring gaming-related nonsense to the masses. Eric and his cohorts are still doing this to this day, long after the shit-stained towers of Lord Voldy crumbled into the dust, never to be seen again.
From Eric, you can always expect the unexpected. Whether he’s shouting on about the lip hair on his grandma, recording himself lobbing pineapples into the Grand Canyon or throwing himself into car chases across the desert as he tracks down evil thieves who entered his car, this is all perfectly normal behaviour.
Eric’s favourite things include:
Wot? Dan? Dan who? Oh! The chav who saved the show! Dan, and his alter ego Jock Bunz, hails from the merry old land of England, where grey skies, poor teeth, and a general lack of proper spelling reign supreme.
An original founding member of ManaTank, Dan felt the call of the wild grey yonder and set forth on an adventure to see just how British he could become. With a hearty “Pip pip” and quite a stiff upper lip, Dan returned to “save the show”.
While Dan claims to be a well-rounded gamer, he mainly stuffs his eyes with RPGs of all shapes and sizes (yes, even the fat ones), retro-style 3D platformers, and anything covered in Batman. When he’s not sat in front of the telly in his increasingly odorous knickers, he can be found about the streets of England engaging with the locals in a rousing match of “Who can shout the loudest at the bus stop?” or “Who can beat their reflection in an argument?”
Dan is no stranger to the gaming world, and through the sheer design of the universe, was brought together with Eric and Tom during the dark ages of Voldemort Towers. Upon toppling the towers, Dan went on to serve as a founding member and editor for ManaTank and has even been known to dabble in making videos. In his professional life he sits at a desk and pretends to put words together for a paycheck.
One might expect a certain modicum of class from a man who calls the land of the Queen his home, but Dan cannot be bothered with such drivel. Tangents, silly British slang, and fat American jokes comprise the majority of Dan’s waking moments. Just be sure to keep a rag handy, for he’s been known to nearly wet himself upon sight of even the smallest of Lucky Charms boxes. If Dan won the lottery he would move to America, gain 300 pounds, and open The Gosh Darn Cheesburgooooor Company. Dan’s favorite things include:
We asked Tom to write a bio for himself, but he was too busy being posh/rich and enlisted Jeeves’ Jeeves’ Jeeves to help us put some words together for him.
Sir Tom ‘Yomas’ Ragan is an English, highly posh Duke or something to that effect who brings his class, distinction, and army of butlers to Factory Sealed. Known for his stiff upper lip, vast amounts of wealth and inability to do anything for himself (having always enlisted the task to at least one of his Jeeves’s) Tom sometimes still manages to show up and chat games with the rest of the crew (although this, may, or may not, be a Jeeves).
Nary a day goes by where Yom doesn’t start his morning with 15 cups of tea, toast smothered in ketchup soaked beans, a few slabs of mystery meat, some pudding that appears to have gone bad, and a variety of biscuits (but not real America biscuits. He’s flown half away around the world to try those, but turned his nose up and crammed his pinkies through the ceiling at the last second in utter disgust.) Tom is man of culture. Taste. Distinction. And hardcore German rap.
El Tombo is also well known for his smooth area. Buffed to a blinding sheen, the smooth area is an important weapon for Tom’s Supervillain alter-ego, Dr. Smooth Area. He uses this weapon to thwart the efforts of the Carmel Cran and his sidekick JockBunz at every turn.
If we’re out to split hairs, Eric and Tom were the first of the bunch to meet while writing for a small, inconsequential site before that gilded turd covered tower rose up in the distance. There, Tom and Dan attended a conference together in merry old London where they were thrown into their first gaming journalism mission. Admittedly it was for a site ran by a turd, but it still felt special at the time. Tom has also traveled to Las Vegas and Phoenix to meet Eric, where they feasted on corn dogs and straddled the Grand Canyon before Tom spontaneously combusted in the heat.
Thankfully we managed to scrape a few parts that matter off the dusty ground of the desert and welcome Tom to the Factory Sealed crew where he brings his own take on all things retro gaming in his lovely British accent (thankfully he’s less incomprehensible than Dan, due to being from posh London). Did we mention Tom is posh?
Tom’s favourite things include:
Avid fan turned guest turned full-time co-host, Mike – aka ‘the hairy one’ is the newest member to the crew. (Despite not having listened to every show…)
Much is yet to be learned about Mike and just what exactly makes him tick, but what we do know only raises more questions. Much like Yom, he too was born with an entire silver tea set in his mouth. Unfortunately, his family wasn’t able to afford the standard British Jeeves to butler him through his youth. Instead, they settled for the perpetually moving and grooving knock-off version named Jives. This may well explain Mike’s endless fascination with music festivals, but we have yet to discover where his love for wearing pink g-strings originated.
What we have learned about Mike during his tenure with Factory Sealed is he is extremely loud. Despite allegedly whispering, Mike has still been known to be heard by extremely deaf old women who are currently five miles away from his location. Imagine how loud it gets when he’s screaming, or when he’s launching into a rendition of his favourite music genre, buttrock.
Perhaps Mike’s greatest claim-to-fame – thus far – on the podcast, has been the invention of the Dan C. Gilbert meme. As with most things that happen on FS, the crew immediately latched onto this utterly ridiculous thing, and took it to new heights.
Despite the obvious differences, we’re not entirely convinced this isn’t Tom pretending to be someone else.
Mike’s favorite things include: